Information has Gotten Cheap

Information has Gotten Cheap

When you log onto Facebook, what do you see? I see a lot of shared links, videos, and photos of good times. I also see this:

“You will never believe what they found in ____!”

and… “What this man finds inside the ____ will shock you!”

and… “Here are the reasons why you are still _____.”

There is a term for articles titled this way; its called clickbait. I’m sure you are no stranger to them either.

Usually, when we encounter it, it seems no more than just annoying articles that may or may not be as interesting as they claim to be in the headlines. Scroll on.

But, there is something else going on in the world. News outlets are losing their viewership. And newspapers are losing relevancy. Some compensate for the lack of sales with increased prices–some go out of business.

News is often covered by blog articles or heated statuses on Facebook. But there are so many of them, you don’t know which one you should go to for details… so you look at all of them. Occasionally, you’ll find a new tidbit of information to add onto the knowledge you have about something. But other times, you’ll find articles with conflicting beliefs; “Why you should do strength training,” and “Why you should stay away from strength training.” It becomes hard to figure out what is opinion and what is backed by research.

Why? Because information has gotten cheap.

When you see clickbait, the websites are not looking to teach you something new, but they are competing with others for clicks. The more visitors, the more money you can bring in through advertisements.

With so many people owning mobile devices, it becomes much more easier to scroll through the news right away, than to go to the newsstand or grocery store to pick up a physical copy, or wait for the newspaper to thud against your door.

People are looking towards writing jobs so that they can earn some money on the side… but so are millions of other people. Because anyone can start a blog. Anyone can write something interesting to at least one other person. What started off as “I’m a good writer, so people will read my stuff” becomes, “What can I write about that will get me more viewers? Something controversial? Should I exaggerate some things? Lie a little?” because there are so many people fighting for your audience.

Now, it is easier than ever to learn about the topic of your choosing. This, in itself, is a blessing. But I think it misleads a lot of people (especially millennials like myself) into thinking that doing a side job of blogging will bring in some nice cash when they’d actually be hard pressed. Because simply writing interesting stuff is not enough. You have to think outside of the box, look into the lost “arts”.

Rather than follow the swarm of humans bustling towards a common opportunity, try looking for the path not taken, or at least, less trampled. There’ll be more scenery for you to enjoy and you might just find something special–something that, with your abilities, you can turn into something valuable.

This message is more of a message to myself than to anyone in particular, but maybe it will offer you some inspiration. Because by going along with the flow of a huge tsunami, you’ll find that once it crashes, there isn’t much to see. It’s like in those massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG); eventually, everyone knows the secret location to a treasure trove–then it gets gutted of its valuables.

So rather than doing things just because many other people have found success in them (ex. university students over-saturating the medicine/dentistry markets, people writing books about popular but unoriginal ideas, and aiming to be the next Instagram girl scouted to be a model), I think it’s better to look around more carefully. With critical and innovative thinking, you will be able to find out what this world needs or would like.

What could I create to help people suffering from poor mental health?

What product or service can I create to counter the effects of a market that makes a profit off of pointing out physical flaws in women and romantic/financial insecurities in men?

How can I address the problem of ever-growing landfills by making recycling easy enough to prevent it?

These are all questions that currently do not have answers, because everyone is chasing the same “tried-and-true” opportunities. I’m going to start thinking… and I hope you do too! Because this world, in truth, still has major problems and more to come with the way things are going now.

Dear Me of 2017

Dear Me of 2017

Dear Me of 2017,

Right now, I am sitting in the little Guest Room at his house typing this up. I know that to you, resolutions don’t really exist. To you, resolutions are, at most, a reminder to keep improving upon yourself!

Right now, I’m wondering where you are in life, and what you are doing right now. I wonder where you are living and whether you have decided to work or pursue Graduate Studies. However, I know you… Any decision you will have made, is one that I know I can place confidence in.

If there is anything I learned in the year of 2015, it is that nothing is set in stone. I also know, that when adversity strikes, you always manage to rise above it. Besides the couple of white hairs you may get from the stress and tendency to fall into unhealthy habits at those times, from past experience, I know that you only get stronger, smarter, and more efficient afterwards. Two white hairs for the ability to tackle future challenges more easily? Sounds like a good trade. However! Since I realize that you have a tendency to fall into unhealthy habits when stressed, I hope that when this message gets to you, you:

  • Consistently try to get enough sleep, even when you have a lot to do.
  • Have gotten even BETTER at not procrastinating than you are now. 9 times out of 10, you sleep late because you are working on something you could have worked on earlier instead of browse through social media or searching up obscure things on the internet.
  • Have learned to take preemptive measures and get rid of any junk food lying around a week before you expect to be stressed out. I know you’d eat them otherwise… and regret it too.
  • Consistently eat iron-rich foods about a week before that time of the month. Anemia-induced fatigue is not fun… and not productive.
  • Remember not to neglect exercise and attribute it to the excuse that you simply don’t have time. I  know you know that there are many 5-min workout videos on Youtube that you can just play and exercise along with as a work-break.
  • Make an effort to eat healthy… even during bad times. Just because you don’t feel like eating when you feel bad, don’t neglect your body. Make sure that you eat enough and get enough nutrition! Even when you feel bad, you still deserve to be healthy. 🙂

Hmm… I wonder how your Chinese is now (Cantonese and Mandarin). At this moment, I know that I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to practicing it with native speakers. However, I am trying and won’t give up! I want to pave a road to confidence and fluency, and am working hard to meet you at the end of the road!

Also, I hope to see you still working on blogging. Show me that I can make it stick!

I will meet you at the top, you strong, capable, hardworking, caring, smart, and driven woman!

Love from,
Me of 2016

Daily Post Prompt: Write Here, Write Now

Small Wins | It’s that busy time of the year

Ah! I mentioned in a previous post how hectic my last couple weeks were. I even had a couple disturbing dreams to remind my sleeping self that I was not safe, haha! Now, I shall gather up the small wins!

For those who like the short and sweet, I:
1) Successfully studied for my final exam, while completing a big surprise website editing job!
2) Finished shopping for all my Christmas presents and wrote all my Christmas cards without feeling like a chicken running around with my head cut off.
3) Started to get back into the habit of working out 2-3 times a week.
4) Started to blog at least 1x/week consistently. I’ll try to keep it up!
5) Started learning Mandarin again after a month-long hiatus!
6) Made homemade shampoo for the first time.

Successful final exam studying!
This one was a bit of a nightmare. In my immunology class, the lectures were separated into 3 different chunks, with three different professors. The first 2 were excellent, but then the final lecturer gave us all a run for our money. Slides were zoomed by and no apparent connections could be drawn. When I started studying, I felt like I was learning all the material again… this time on my own. Many classmates shared this sentiment with a shared motto of, “My textbook will save me!” The best part was that 62% of the marks were questions the final lecturer wrote. I’m sure the textbook saved a lot of students, especially since all the diagrams she used were from the textbook… with full explanations. The test was okay. I left feeling a little dazed but I know that I did “decent”. Maybe a B. Maybe a B+. Who knows. Anyways, no time to waste wondering what it is when it will come out on its own.

Finished a big website editing job that started during my study week.
This was pretty scary. Imagine sitting down to study and then finding out that you have to edit 10000 words of text at the same time! Glad to say that I finished this job and earned a little pocket money. Good thing I printed all of my study notes, or else I would have easily spent 8 hours per day staring into a computer screen.

Kept up a habit of blogging at least once a week.
This was pretty difficult as well. When I first started off, I wrote a couple posts. But then, even though the inspiration was still there, I felt I had too much work to do in real life to write at leisure on a blog. I think I went a whole month without posting anything else. I changed my mindset though and created many creative outlets for myself in the form of categories to just blog whenever I feel like typing something out. Maybe an interesting thought one day, a weird dream on another.

Finished all my Christmas shopping and card-writing.
This was a pretty big feat! I decided to start them early so that I wouldn’t have to worry about them during exam week and so that I wouldn’t have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Started going to the gym and boulder again after a 2-week hiatus.
I think I lost some muscle mass because of the hiatus because I now weigh the lowest I ever did… without making any big changes to my diet.

Made homemade shampoo.
Okay, not technically. I basically added aloe juice and essential oils to a shampoo base. Customized smell though? Haha!

Started learning Mandarin again after a month-long hiatus.
Hiatus. Would not recommend. I learn through flashcards and podcasts so after this hiatus, I stocked up over a thousand flashcards that were “Ready for Review”. That was true terror.


Upcoming small win aims: Keep up the exercise, blogging, and Mandarin learning. What else? We shall see!

Anyways, remember to recount the small wins that you have achieved too! Hopefully, like it does for me, it inspires you to continue chipping away and aiming for more small wins!